Your name or any nicknames you have?
Dakota Aka muddyputty
Where are you at in the world? Where will you be fishing this year?
I live in Arvada Colorado and fish mostly Colorado but also take several trips to Wyoming and New Mexico!
What river(s) and lake(s) do you guide/fish?
Wind River, San Jaun, Dream stream, Arkansas River, Animas, 11 Mile canyon, Cheeseman, Bear Creek, Clear Creek, Wellington Lake, St. Mary’s Glacier, Big horn river, Colorado, Blue, Poudre
How long have you been guiding/fly fishing?
I’ve been fly fishing since I was about 12 but started to get seriously obsessed at about 16 years old, I am currently 22.
What got you into fly fishing? When did you start?
Ever since I was a little girl, I grew up fishing with my dad, of course it started with worms and lures, but it quickly led into fly fishing where I was gifted my first 8’6” pink fly rod at the age of 16. My respect for the fish and surrounding nature only grew, and from there I have quickly increased my knowledge, passion and gear for fly fishing and find myself pursuing a river or stream every chance I can.
Why do you fly fish? What does it “do” for you?
I fly fish to feel strong and confident about myself but I also fly fish to stay humble and grounded. The sport allows me to continuously grow and learn and discover amazing places and the fish and the community is just an added bonus!
If you own and use a Rod Vault, what do you like about you Rod Vault?
I own the Denver Outfitters Rod Vault and I just love the ease of it. I never have to de-rig my rods and take them apart, they’re always ready whenever I am! It’s also that safest place to keep them whereas in my chaotic house or car they’re more likely to be broken!
As a woman guide/angler, you're definitely in the minority. What made you decide to be a guide/angler?
When I was a little girl, I grew up fishing and to me at that time gender didn’t matter I just knew I loved the outdoors and I loved to fish. Of course, as I got older, I realized I was in the minority but it still really doesn’t bother me. Occasionally there are some bad apples that try to degrade women fly fishers but just like little girl me, I know I love fishing, so I will not let anyone ruin that for me.
Has the fact you’re a female ever been an issue with a client or other angler (such as them hitting on you or maybe talking down to you?) If so how did you manage it/them?
One problem I notice when I’m fishing with new people that don’t know me is that they automatically assume that it’s my first day on the water or that I don’t know what I’m doing so I usually receive comments along the line of “Do you actually fish?” Usually once they see me cast or tie on flies the comments become “oh wow you’re actually really good” or “You cast is great!” It can be a bit condescending at times but I just fish how I always do and by the end of it they usually realize I kind of know what I’m doing!
Do you think being a woman gives you a different perspective as an angler/guide? If so, how?
I personally think that in general women can be more patient so for me when male friends want to leave a hole, I’ll usually let them move on down the river and continue to patiently wait for that fish I know is in there, it usually pays off! I also think that I get a lot less frustrated while fishing than my male friends. Also, the superficial side of me loves to match and color coordinate all of my gear and I don’t think the guys care so much about that!
What is a piece of advice you want to give to other anglers or a tip/trick that has helped you grow as an angler?
I know it’s so cliché but ignore the haters girls! Seriously do your own thing, fish away unapologetically and get out on the water and practice, practice, practice! The only way to truly learn how to fly fish is to get out and do it! Also never stop learning, this sport is so intricate and the amount of knowledge you can gain from it is never-ending! Also, find a giant field and practice casting!
What’s your favorite new piece of gear?
My current favorite piece of gear I recently purchased is my new Abel Reel! It’s the SDF 5/6wt in a beautiful teal to match all my gear! It matches my awesome Moonshine Rod as well!
What is your favorite fly? (To tie, or catch fish on?)
Favorite nymph: Hares ear
Favorite Streamer: Hot headed leech
Favorite dry: Parachute Adams
Best catch of all time?
One of my fav catches is not my biggest catch but one of my more memorable and pretty catches, it was on the Animas in April and it was an unexpected beautiful rainbow on a stone fly. I caught him in a very rocky area and I was so scared I would lose him but I didn’t!
What's your "Dream Trip"?
Definitely to New Zealand to catch some huge browns!
What are some of the best places you’ve been fishing?
My favorite places to fish are in Wyoming and New Mexico!
How do people follow you on social media or reach you?
Everyone can follow me on Instagram @muddyputty